Home for the Holidays with Clinton Kelly

Come inside the WD columnist's family room and try his brilliant tricks for a fun, festive season.

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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason; Grooming by Gabriella Voigt
Come inside the WD columnist's family room and try his brilliant tricks for a fun, festive season.
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason; Grooming by Gabriella Voigt
You're Invited!
December is Clinton Kelly's happy month. "It's my time to catch up with my favorite people in the whole world, whether they like it or not!" he says. It's also when the entertaining expert pulls out all the stops. Here, Clinton shares his secrets to making your home an inviting, joyful place during the holidays. TIP: Garlands can go anywhere—even the chandelier!
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason
Merry the Mantel
These gold and silver planters sparkle next to vibrant red tealights. And metallic accents, Clinton says, look great year-round. Textured Mercury Vases, from $29; Red Votives, $5 for set of 4;
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason
Trim a Unique Tree
"I like to put my own spin on holiday decorating," says Clinton, who chose a whimsical mix of birds, baubles and bursts in gold, silver, red and blue for his tree. But embracing a theme or color palette doesn't mean you can't weave in old favorites. "Everyone has ornaments that are sentimental," he says. "You should hang those too, of course." Clinton also suggests moving decor around to create a new look. One year, he used a snow-like white feather boa as a tree garland—this year it's on the mantel. RELATED: DIY Holiday Ornaments Red Tinsel Bird, $20 for 4; White Glitter Peacock, $12; Glitter Burst Ornament, $6;
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason
Easy Ornaments
"Sometimes you buy a big tree and you think, how am I going to fill it?" says Clinton. His budget fix is to stuff affordable clear glass balls with tinsel or ribbon. Bonus: You can change them up each year.
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason
Deck the Door
"I wanted the house to feel like a big present," says Clinton. First, he covered the front door with gift wrap, securing it along the top and sides with small pieces of duct tape, then he wrapped lengths of fabric around it to make a pretty bow. RELATED: Gorgeous Holiday Door Decorations Solid Red Wrapping Paper, $5.95 per roll; Silver Metallic Spandex Knit, $9.98 per yard; . Keep fabric stiff with spray starch. EVERGREEN IDEA Welcome guests with a pair of silver spray-painted planters you can leave out all winter.
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason
It's a Wrap
This year, Clinton treated gift paper as an extension of his decor. Pick your busiest pattern first (like the cardinal motif). Next, add shiny and textured solids plus a bold pop (think stripes or dots). But if you don't use a uniform color scheme, it's fine, he says. "Any wrapped presents under the tree add to the excitement of Christmas." Silver and Red Glitter Wrapping Paper, $9.95 per roll; Birds & Flowers Gift Wrap Sheets, $4.99 each; Tranquil Pool Gift Wrap, $6.99 per roll; Red Striped Gift Wrap, $3.99 per roll; Striped Grosgrain Ribbon, $4.99;
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Alexandra Rowley; Craft and prop styling by Matthew Gleason: Grooming by Gabriella Voigt
Get Into the Spirit
Serving a signature drink means fewer bottles of liquor to buy and less bartending for you. "Mulled wine smells like Christmas, plus people don't usually overdrink it," says Clinton. CLINTON'S CRANBERRY MULLED WINE ACTIVE 10 MIN F TOTAL 3 HR 10 MIN F SERVES 10 In a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker, combine 2 (750ml) bottles of dry red wine, 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed), 1 orange (cut into 8 slices), ½ cup sugar, 12 whole cloves and 4 cinnamon sticks. Cook, covered, until wine is spiced, 2½ to 3 hours on high, or 4 to 4 ½ hours on low. Strain the wine and serve warm, garnished with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
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